Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Quantum Break Review

Quantum Break has the ability to both be incredible and infuriating at the same time. The graphics are nothing like you've ever seen on Xbox One so far, it seems to be Xbox's version of 'The Order'. That is where the similarities end, however, as you play the game you get a nice blend of gameplay and cinematic.

The storyline involves traveling not only in present time (where Jack's powers mainly come from) but also in the past. It unravells nicely and the live action episodes fill in some of the gaps, but not all. This also creates a problem, as these episodes also do create the illusion of cinematics greatly outweighing the ganeplay. Which, if you remove them, you'd find the balance is a little better managed than Playstations 'The Order'.  

It's also the mini series which brings it some glory. The episodes have some great acting invloved from Shawn R Ashmore, Aiden Gillen and Lance Reddick in particular, it adds to the storyline really well. It even boasts some great support roles from Courtney Hope and Dominic Monaghan.

Gameplay itself is fun and pretty much full of action sequences. Enemy design is pretty minimal though, with only the basic soldiers that can't stand time stutters (where time freezes completely) and these who wear devices to avoid the effects. It's the latter that are more interesting. The infantry type can move as fast as you and make it hard to hit them. Not only that but the force you out of hidey holes by flanking you. Then you have heavies that go down quicker being targeted from behind. Those with shotguns and miniguns. 

You have a nice set of powers available to you too. You can freeze time at a specific locale and then shoot it to blow up the time zone in enemies faces. Being able to powerup that ability to create and immediate explosion in the face of enemies, you can sprint in to enemies then execute them at the end of the run. Dashing comes in handy, knocking enemies back to be shot in the head at close range. You're able to create a shield with the time powers too.

Collectibles are scattered everywhere, some are able to change events in the live action episodes, they can be good to hunt down for this reason. Time franctures can also be collected to upgrade your skills mentioned above. At certain points, you gain control of the stories 'villain'. At these points you can choose what happends on his side of the story. The first choice gives you the ideas of killing all witness' to what Monarch have been upto or using the head of the organisation within the university to run a PR campaign. These not only change the main story to either stack the deck against Jack or play out to severely damage Monarch. 

There are four of these 'junctions' in total, which control the direction of the game in gameplay and in the episodes. 

The game is a bit short though, it didn't take us long to complete the game on hard mode. There are 5 acts, most have 3 chapters, one has 2 and one has 4. This does go against it a bit as you get in to the game so much, you don't really want it to end. It is open for Downloadable Content or a sequel though.

With the best graphics on Xbox One to date. Solid gameplay and a strong story, which actually isn't as confusing as other titles from the generation. The only downside are the minor plotholes, the fact it could possibly be longer and being a tiny bit easy on hard mode, it is a strong outing from the makers of Alan Wake. 

Overall: 8/10
Graphics 9/10
Gameplay 8/10
Storyline 8/10
Mini series 10/10

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